Wii U family.png

Weighing up which console to invest in for a family is a matter of identifying which features are most important to you.

I've had a repeated conversation over the last few months where I introduce friends and parents to some of the lesser known features of the Wii U. Some of these make a big difference to their purchasing decisions.

A big deal is value and here the Wii U's full backward compatibility with both controllers and games of the Wii makes a huge difference. Being able to keep using those older Wii games, as well as opening the door to a massive (and cheap) second hand library of classic Nintendo titles can save a lot of money.

Also we shouldn't under estimate how much value there is in supporting the Wii Remote on the Wii U. If I want to play a four player game on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One I'm looking at spending out a good £200 on controllers. Being able to use my existing Wii Remotes, or purchase more second hand for a fraction of the price, is a big plus.

Video games by their nature are a fast moving hobby and we can lose sight of how much fun older games are. The Wii compatibly goes some way to stemming the tide and leads to affordable discoveries of great games like Skyward Sword, Xenoblade Chronicles, Super Mario Galaxy, Go Vacation, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and a favourite of mine Mario Strikers Charged Football. The list goes on and I'm sure you can add to it in the comments.

Another feature many parents are unaware of is the eShop and its downloadable games. Not only that you can buy full priced titles from the comfort of your own home, but that there are many pocket money games not found in stores.

Nintendo's ongoing support of independent game developers is also a positive here in the eyes of parents. Spending money on a game that helps an up and coming creative individual is much more appealing that shelling out on the latest blockbuster title.

Finally this is rounded off by the Virtual Console. Long in the tooth Wii U owners are well versed in the joys of playing classic retro games easily. In the family this not only offers another line of cheaper games but gets parents and children playing games together more.

I've been using the Virtual Console in my home to introduce the kids to classic titles I enjoyed when I was their age. There an element of education here, as they start to appreciate how games have evolved over the years. And I get the fun of seeing them react to the sights and sounds of my youth.

Of course these need to be weighed up against the sorts of other games you want to play on the system. We still need Terraria and Minecraft to arrive sooner rather than later, but having these details on hand should help families make a more informed decision.